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My boyfriend and I have been having sex for over a year, but recently he has had trouble getting hard and cant stay hard for long. Why could this be?

By Anonymous March 19, 2009 - 8:29am
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We are very comfortable with each other so anxiety isnt an issue. has he lost interest? when we have sex i am on top so i cum and then he goes behind me for him 2 cum-yet neither of us enjoy the way that makes each other cum. what can we do about this?

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EmpowHER Guest

I had the same problem with my ex boyfriend he broke with me because he said he couldn't satisfy me anymore, when he started not being able to get an erection, I got some Viagra for him, but the sex became more like a job than a joyful event about to happen, b/c we had to plan to have sex instead of having spontaneous. He said he felt less of a man. But one night I made the comment, that if I was a new women that he could get it up, and he said yea I probably could, but once I get USE to her then what? So can a man not get an erection if he looses interest in a women?

December 24, 2009 - 6:14pm

Can you look into couples therapy? Surely this would be better than telling him to have sex outside of the realtionship? That surely would doom it!

June 23, 2009 - 11:17am

Hello Anonymous,

Speaking as a young man approaching his mid twenties, I can tell you that I have encountered similar situations. I know from experience how distressing it is for a man of any age to experience problems with their sex lives, especially when it comes to their performance in bed. I have a few suggestions and insights that worked for me, much to the satisfaction of my lover and her sexual needs.

The first piece of advice I can offer is that you take the point of view that this is probably a temporary situation, and realize that as his lover, your response to his performance issues can either help remedy the situation or complicate matters. Allow me to illustrate with some brief anecdotes.

One evening, my lover and I were enjoying some intimate time together in her bedroom. Everything was just right with the exception of one minor detail - I could not achieve an erection! I felt nervous and humiliated. The tone of my lover, though not in the least bit scolding, definitely expressed her natural and warranted frustration. It was shortly after this incident that I took time to examine my everyday life. I was working a stressful job in the restaurant business. I was eating a lot of fatty foods. I wasn't getting enough exercise or the proper nourishment from my diet. All of these factors contributed to my performance issues. I made drastic changes to my life style and I was able to enjoy my virility without any repeat incidents for quite some time.

That is, until it happened again almost a year later. I was baffled. I was eating healthy. I had my stress under control. (I use lots of different things to help me relieve stress - everything from writing to playing video games.) I was happy all around. So what was the issue?

Quite simply, my sexual attraction was starting to wane. At first this caused me distress. After careful meditation, I realized the nature of the union with my lover. Our drastic differences in personality greatly contributed to our explosive chemistry. Now, it seemed, that chemistry (to continue the metaphor) had fulfilled the possibilities of its nature. Our union, at that time, had been completely satisfied. There was no bio-magnetic attraction between us, no sexual tension.

I was faced with a hard decision, a difficult choice. What was I to do? Was I to end a meaningful and satisfying relationship simply because at this time there was no sexual attraction between us? Or, was there a different solution that could fulfill both of us naturally and in harmony with our individual wills?

Yes. The solution was immediately divined. Both her and I required new experiences according to our individual idiosyncrasies. Although we didn't break up or separate, we both decided that we needed more personal space and time to ourselves to pursue our personal ambitions. We observed, much to our delight, that this personal time away from each other was starting to bring back the sexual tension. Both of us had new experiences to share. It was like rediscovering each other all over again.

As conscientious lovers, we have learned to recognize these times of complete satisfaction. We now know when to take a little extra time for ourselves. We are certain that our time apart is just as important as our time together. Success is our proof.

So remove the familiarity of your situation. Remove the predictable patterns that you have become habituated to like a mechanical current lulling you to sleep. There are infinite possibilities in the universe. You simply have to discover which of those experiences you will have for yourself to enrich your own life.


March 28, 2009 - 2:01am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Ramon Long)

ramon thanx for advice i'm in a relationship with an older man and we have been together for 17 yrs. the relationship is amazing except for the sex and i have mentioned my frustration which has led to his performance anxiety and i believe that's the major problem.he's very healthy .both of us are attractive so the only thing i can guess is that after 17 yrs. he's no longer attracted to me . my only solution at this time is to stay in the relationship cause we are in deep love so i told him if he needs to go outside the relationship for sex by all means go ahead because i can not keep being made to feel bad cause of his lack of performance it's taking a toll on my self esteem and mental stability .i how ever was told not to have sex outside relationship (by him) . so alas any advice is welcomed or i'm doomed to a sexless life and i'm a very sexual being and i'm just 35. so sad

June 23, 2009 - 10:52am

Loosing a job can be emasculating for a man. He may feel insecure about himself, stressed and then may have trouble performing. A man who looses his livelihood can feel "less of a man" , if you will.

Also, some women complain that their partners have trouble with erectile dysfunction if they use pornography a lot as they, in a sense, become addicted to it and then find it hard to get turned on by a flesh and blood woman. Do you know if he uses pornography? Some men can use it without repercussions but others begin to like it a little too much and some even choose it over having sex as there is no pressure and they only have to concentrate on themselves.
I'm not saying that this is your boyfriend's problem...it could be anything, but with the internet and the easy availability of pornographic material, it is an increasingly serious issue that is often not completely recognized yet in our society.

The most important thing is communication, understanding, not blaming each other and trying to get to the bottom of the issue without stressing each other out.
Good luck.

March 19, 2009 - 5:21pm
EmpowHER Guest

oh i dont mean breaking up anytime soon but if this goes on for months how can we have a relationship without sex?- BECAUSE we've been in a sexual relationship for over a year. We're very close emotionally so unless theres something he doesnt know hes feeling then i cant think of anything wrong. he doesnt drink or smoke or any or those other factors.

the only thing it couldd be is that he became redundant in jan (from a long term job that he was planning to leave once he got a job in accountancy)and since then has been looking for a time-being job as hes at college doing the sage accountancy course and is yet to complete his first set of ACCA exams (accountacy). im been supportive and trying to motivate him to get the ACCA exams out the way. but he doesnt seem to bothered about it and sais he'l start working next year? so dont think this is the problem?

we're close and talk about everything, unless like i said theres something he's not telling me or he doesnt know is even bothering him so yh was thinking he should see a dr. thanx

March 19, 2009 - 3:31pm

Thanks for writing back! Let's see if this information helps you two (and, by saying you "two", is this something he is concerned about, or just you wondering if this means something bad about his feelings for you? Are you two able to talk about this, and for you to listen to his feelings and trust what he is saying?):

Try reading this: Trouble with Erections

Men of all ages have trouble sometimes getting or maintaining an erection, and it can be from psychological or physical causes, which can include:
- "Physiologically: lack of sleep, alcohol use, underlying health condition. Other physical causes include hormonal imbalance or side effects of medications.
- Psychologically: stress, anxiety, guilt, depression, low self-esteem, and pressure from a new or "demanding" partner, or any pressure a man might be placing on himself".

Inconsistent erections can be lifestyle related, too, if your boyfriend smokes, drinks alcohol excessively, is overweight, does not exercise regularly, etc. Do you know if he is able to have an erection in the morning when he first wakes up, as many men do?

Does any of this sound like what he could be experiencing?

An erectile dysfunction is defined as, "inability to maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse at least 25 percent of the time." Again, it is common for men to lose their erection sometimes, but I wanted to provide this information to you in case there is something medically wrong: Erectile Dysfunction. It is more common in older men, and for younger men it is important to know: stress and anxiety are leading causes of temporary problems with erection.

Lastly, I'm concerned about your last statement that "how can we stay together without a sex life?". I'm assuming you are both in your 20s, and it seemed as though that was quite a leap from being a concerned girlfriend to already breaking up! I would take this time to really figure out what's going on with your relationship. Take a look at the Kinsey Institute's Q&A for a similar question (regarding a guy having an erection...does that mean he likes/doesn't like a girl...the answer is no!); you can read the answer here, along with some great information and book resources.

Bottom line: talk (and listen) to your boyfriend, to see what he is going through. Is he as concerned as you are about his inability to maintain an erection? If so, a visit with a doctor would be highly recommended. If he's not concerned, then maybe you two can figure out some other ways of being intimate without intercourse, and see if some of the pressure is alleviated. Read one of the three books together for some ideas, too!

March 19, 2009 - 2:16pm
EmpowHER Guest

yes you got what i was trying to ask. We used to have a good sex life but recently we havnt really had one because he cant stay erect. He's 22..but not stressed or anything. I can't think what the problem was. When we tried today he stayed harder for longer but i cudnt stop thinking about him getting soft so was distracted. then he lost his erection.

the second question isn't really an issue right now because he cant stay erect but what can we try that can solve both problems? i dont get much out of oral sex and dont really like other positions although i can get small clitoral (if thats a word) orgasms from dry sex, but he doesnt get anything out of that. he likes oral sex and hand jobs (and some sex positions (when he can stay hard)) but none of those things are things we can enjoy together. not sure if that makes sense? but its becoming a big problem because how can we stay together without having a sex life? please help!

March 19, 2009 - 1:23pm

I'm not sure I understand your question.

Your title says that your boyfriend is having trouble obtaining and keeping his erection. How long has this been going on? Have you two talked about this? It is very normal for men (I'm assuming he's in his teens or twenties?), as all kinds of things could be happening...is he stressed or have any changes going on in his life?

The other part of the equation (from your message) is that he does not ejaculate in "your" favorite position, and he ejaculates only in "his" favorite position...and the problem here is that neither of you like the other's position. Is that correct? This tells me that he is able to maintain his erection, if he ejaculates, right? My response to that question is: there are MANY more positions to try then just the two you mentioned, and even MORE ways to reach orgasm than only through intercourse.

I'm not sure if I understand the problem, exactly. Have you two tried lots of other positions that you both enjoy? Have you two tried not having intercourse, and have stimulated each other in other ways?

Please write back if I did not understand your question; more information would greatly help!

There are some great books that you and your boyfriend can read, if you're interested:
- Sex Therapist Dr. Laura Berman's book
- Hot Monogamy

March 19, 2009 - 12:21pm
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